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Potential Downsizing Of CDC’s Global Epidemic Prevention Activities Could Threaten U.S. National Security

The Hill: The U.S. can’t afford to reduce global public health funding
Daniel M. Gerstein, senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and adjunct professor at American University

“…[The proposal to downsize the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) global epidemic prevention activities in 39 of 49 countries] is potentially dangerous and could place the U.S. at significant risk. … [T]he programs provide sentinels for a broader global disease monitoring system of which the U.S. is a significant beneficiary. Over the past decade, many have come to recognize public health as a national security issue worthy of funding levels that promote and support global health preparedness and response systems. Some disease events — either naturally occurring outbreaks such as influenza or intentional use of pathogens in biological warfare or bioterrorism — have serious national security implications. Having international and partner systems that promote information sharing in real-time, pre-incident preparedness, and response capabilities are important components of public health efforts in the U.S. … Without renewed funding, the long-term outlook could include weakened global disease surveillance and response systems, less capable partner nations and an increased likelihood of global disease outbreaks that would undoubtedly threaten the U.S.” (2/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.